Some for-profit universities have begun to aggressively market their distance-learning services in a variety of ways, and they are finding that monitoring Return On Investment (ROI) in terms of enrollments is a difficult enterprise. Marketing a distance-learning program entails many elements, from creating a logo or brand, to effectively handling the call when the interested prospect enquires on how to enroll. This process has come to be known as Enrollment Management, or Enrollment Marketing.
How advances in advertising technology affect enrollment management .
Traditionally, ROI from marketing campaigns has only been quantifiable weeks or months after campaign launch. For-profit and not-for-profit universities that attempt to generate revenue by bolstering student enrollments often suffer because they are not able to determine which marketing strategies have been successful until mid-way through the admissions period. John Wanamaker said “ I know that 50% of my advertising is wasted – the problem is that I don’t know which 50%” Online advertising agencies have developed technologies that allow clients 24 hour access to their advertising campaigns, allowing them to monitor ROI on an up-to-the-minute basis. Advertisers want accountability, and the technology exists; why not put it to use? CPL allows advertisers to pay for ads according to the number of people that actually respond, rather than advertising space; and DCO is an automated process that eliminates media that generate unsuccessful leads and publishers, and optimizes the placement of successful media with publishers that generate the most successful leads.
These specialized tools may be impressive, but more advertisers—
Towards a solution: Create Marketing and Consulting Partnerships
How to increase enrollment, decrease cost-per-enrollment, and maintain the image of universities?
"Advanced analytics practitioners are increasingly thinking about people, process and organization. They talk about multi-channel marketing being the norm, so process and organization that recognize the holistic marketing view is vital. The next step is building a team dedicated to the science of holistic analytics. Done right, their value pays off almost overnight."
As the author points out, a holistic approach to marketing is becoming the only logical solution. Monitoring and tracking technologies have become so sophisticated, advertising agencies have become so skilled in converting leads—not just generating them—that it is has become much cheaper to contract one agency to generate, convert, optimize, and provide feedback.
The bottom line is simple: the fact that most not-for-profit educational institutions have a reputation to maintain makes buying leads a tricky endeavor. On the one hand, universities need leads in order to increase enrollment. On the other hand, University Spam is an unacceptable marketing tactic. Enrollment Management services that are provided by marketing agencies with a large bandwidth can solve this problem—boosting enrollment, de-segmenting the marketing process, while simultaneously providing more accountability for less money.
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